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Re: [tor-talk] Number of onions online

> Recent talk in onionland seems to be indicating somewhere
> nearing 10,000 onions online, from spidering and whatnot.
> Are there folks here involved in such projects that can contribute
further graphs, lists, categorization, and commentary?

I run the OnionScan project and have been looking at this stuff for the
last year or so[1]. From my latest data I see about ~7000 onions online
during any given crawl date - and these 7000 come from about ~8000
different onion hostnames (some onions are really inconsistently up). When
I say online I mean is actively serving one of HTTP(S), SSH, FTP, SMTP,
Bitcoin, IRC and a few other protocols.

Overall we scan ~12000 known onion hosts found by crawling both onion
sites and the clear web. This grew rapidly over the first few scans but
generally only grows by a handful of onions per scan now - this means
~5000 of the onion hosts we have found have never been online or are

This analysis obviously doesn't capture onions that have never been
publicly listed or private authenticated onions. It also doesn't account
for onion-dependent software like Ricochet which may not be online
consistently enough for us to pick up. Finally if someone is hosting
software on a non-standard port we won't currently detect it.

Lately I've been looking into supplementing the crawl data with other
sources e.g. clearnet listings (like /r/onions) or via general common
crawl data  - although early tests show this is about as effective as the
current crawl mechanism for finding new onions.

[1] https://mascherari.press/onionscan-report-june-2016/

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